I’m driving to the gym after work and it just comes from nowhere. I have GOT to talk to Amy. I panic. I have to talk to her. Right now! I don’t even know what about, really. It consumes me and I become wholly disoriented for a moment. She is dead right? Jesus, fucking, Christ! What the hell is going on, I wonder. The thought convulses through me as if I’m connected to some electrical torture device and the dial on the brass box at the other end of these wires attached to my head, chest and testicles was just spun from zero to all-the-way. Thoughts sweep through me in a wave. I go from driving and listening to the radio to this rush of thoughts, emotions and panic in a moment. I’m reminded of those times from my youth. I drank too much and too fast and in a matter of moments I go from having fun, life of the party joking, to eyes tearing, nose running, vomiting in the toilet. The transition from happy to shit-faced puking just happens all at once. Sometimes you feel it coming from somewhere. Sometimes it rushes up from nowhere. This was from nowhere.
I’ve had plenty of moments when I feel the need to tell Amy something
Can’t wait to tell Amy, she’d find that funny, or amusing, or annoying…
But this felt new, different. And I might as well be puking in the toilet. I start crying and screaming as I drive. “Where are you? WHERE THE FUCK ARE YOU?”
I wipe the tears to see where I’m driving. I turn into the gym parking lot and just let it come. This is not one of the sobby cries I sometimes get which just pass, but one of the fuller throated moaning cries. The one that starts down low in the bowels. I park. I throw my head down as I clutch the steering wheel and let out wails and tears and mucus and saliva and let my whole body shake. I scream - Why did this happen to me? Why, why, why? The “whys” trail off and as the moaning cries return and drown them out. This goes on for a few seconds or a minute or two. I don’t know. It subsides some.
“Why did this happen?” I whisper to myself and to god and to the universe.
I become partially aware of who might have walked by in the parking lot. It’s dark out and I doubt anyone would see me. Not that I care that some random soul sees me cry, but I fear, just a little, that they’d want to help, or that my pain would somehow pass out of the car into them. This thought slowly tugs me out of it. I breathe deeply. Heavily. Slowly.
I sit and stare at the dimly lit concrete wall in the parking garage in front of me. I can see the small imperfections. The small holes where an aggregate rock dislodged or an air bubble formed as the wall was poured. Then the faint and fading wood grain impression left behind by the plywood forms that where built to hold the curing cement.
Amy is now light and dust and someday shall I be as will this concrete wall. But right now we occupy different spaces and times. And I cannot see into her space nor be in her time. Sometimes I accept it. Sometimes I can’t. I then think this is just how this will be. Just driving to the gym and the discordance between my time and space – the time and space of the living - and Amy’s time and space – that of the dead - reaches inside my soul, grabs me and slams me hard to the ground. It is just how it is and how it will be.
I inhale deeply and let out a long sigh – “fuck.”
Each motion becomes slow and deliberate as I restart. I grab my gym bag, I open the car door, take the key out of the ignition, get out of the car, breathe again, close the door, lock the door. Turn and begin to walk. I breathe again. I take a step. And another. And a third. And so on.